Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Playing with Narrative Tools: Xtra Normal and Zimmertwins

While looking for narration tools to use for our next project I came across Xtra Normal movie maker and Zimmertwins movie maker. I like these two the best out of all of the narration tools because I feel it adds a bit of personality and action to our stories. Both of these are similar because they are both very simple to use and basically turn your text into a movie while you pick the characters and action. I feel that using these tools that allow you to pick your characters and voices add to the voice of your story. I played with both of these tools over the weekend and the one I liked the most was Xtra Normal.

Xtra Normal allowed me to pick my characters from a series of situations and simply type in the dialogue that I wanted in my story. This tool allows you to write the dialogue, make the expressions and choose the voices of your characters allowing you to portray them how you want to in a movie form of your story. Xtra Normal is simple to use, but can get a little complex when it comes to the expressions and the publishing of the actual movie. I played around with it for several minutes before I could figure anything out. The pros of using this tool is that it makes a pretty complex way to tell your story and being able to point, use expressions and change voices adds to your story and will portray a better understanding to your audience. The cons of using this tool is that it gets a little complex while trying to publish your story.

Zimmertwins is very simple and would probably be the easier way to tell my story if I am picking between the tool. The characters are more cartoon than real life and it is a bit easier to navigate around the site. I would spend less time trying to figure out how to publish and more time perfecting this narration of my story. The cons of using this is that my project is on gay rights and if I were wanting to use two females or two males, I cant. The actions are limited to the ones you can choose such as hug. It is the simpler of the two I am considering, but it does bother me that you have to have female/ male character situations, but I could always make it work.

I think using the narration tools will be more fun than the previous units, but will require us to be more creative and complex with telling our stories. We will get the chance to have actual cartoons, animals, stick people, etc actually tell our story other than a bunch of words and reading.

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